"Community" is defined as "a group of people who live in the same area." If you own or are looking to start a small business, then the community is an important concept to understand if an effective outreach is your goal. One of the common delusions that Delisha Fields mentioned was that many people operating in the world of small businesses believe in the myth of overnight success. Quick explosions like that aren't impossible, but rare, and as obvious as this may seem, many small business owners try to look for the get famous card once they take to marketing their business through social media. The get famous card often involves targeting a major influencer as a proper marketing tactic. Having an influencer can be useful, but Delisha found that tackling her own community was a much more effective approach in the long term of marketing her business BLK GETAWAY. She also spoke about storytelling and how that plays a major role in marketing a business and the brand defining it.
In addition to Delisha's work as a director in Forbes where she handles event partnerships and marketing, she is also the founder and CEO of BLK GETAWAY, a platform that creates networking experiences for modern black professionals, which allows for them to convene, connect, and collaborate. Although originally meant for travel, the inconvenience of the Covid-19 pandemic helped Delisha reinvent BLK GETAWAY out of the consensus that resulted from the all too frequent systemic barriers that make it difficult for black professionals to succeed. Delisha Fields created this multi-dimensional platform as a way of offering an exclusive sense of community and experience for accomplished black professionals. BLK GETAWAY helps black professionals escape the everyday grind that often becomes too meandering for them to feel like they can thrive in what is a highly competitive business environment for those seeking entrepreneurship. The BLK GETAWAY platform features bespoke events that address important career issues. It also provides exclusive group trips and invite-only member networks that provide users with support, real-life connections, and the tools needed to live the life they’ve dreamed of.
In discussing her approach to marketing, Delisha Fields spoke highly of how she utilizes email marketing as a way of building a community within her platform BLK GETAWAY. Delisha believes that email marketing operates on a more authentic level when trying to reach an audience. She made it clear that although the variety of emerging social media platforms such as TIK TOK and Clubhouse can be efficient marketing platforms, if they don't tell a story, then it takes away the human element that she believes BLK GETAWAY offers to people who feel more connected within the confines of an African American community looking to thrive in the world of entrepreneurship.
When asked about data, which is important, Delisha Fields commented on the rather invasive role data has taken in the lives of customers and business owners. This has only grown over time where now a simple Google search, or merely uttering a remark near a smartphone can trigger an avalanche of unwarranted advertisements tied to the subject of whatever a person was searching for or what they were specifically saying at that moment. In terms of presenting an alternative/solution, Delisha found engagement to be incremental to proper marketing given that although a small business doesn't have the monopolistic advertising power a platform like Google has, it can still fall prey to the mountain of advertisers that could easily latch on to it and even overtake the capacity of its own influence. This type of inconsistency ultimately reduces the human element that Delisha found to be important when it came to marketing a business and the story that accompanies the brand. In the case of the brand backing a platform like BLK GETAWAY, it all boils down to the aspect of the story that helps connect a community that shares a particular ethnic/cultural heritage.
Delisha Fields' use of community certainly values the steady approach of how a business can market itself by incorporating people who share the same cultural heritage, particularly those who work in the same industry. This only strengthens the community element while even adding a more informally humane feel to the strategy of marketing a business that brings a multitude of people together rather than through storytelling. Delisha Fields also pointed out how important it was for her to listen to her employees rather than simply the customer. Delisha believes that what gives a brand sufficient influence is its ability to tell a story in order to provide a customer with more than simply a nice product. However, for the story to have a sense of authenticity behind it, then it's also important for the employees who are essentially the storytellers to be just as engaged in crafting something that gives the brand the life that will help it take off beyond marketing it on an email or even a social media platform. In many ways, Delisha Fields' dedication to the importance of storytelling within a brand is similar to that of the mythologist Joseph Campbell who said, "The ultimate aim of the quest must be neither release nor ecstasy for oneself, but the wisdom and the power to serve others." Delisha Fields has done more than just create a great platform that was originally made for travel. She has also created a sense of community through a story that works to serve the very people that help form and initially grow along with it.
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